Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson encouraged children and adults to practice safe bike riding by wearing a helmet and following the Bicycle Rules of the Road during a bike rodeo and helmet giveaway. “I hope families will enjoy this summer on their bicycles while remembering the importance of safety when sharing the road with vehicles,” said White. “Although bike riding is great fun, it can also be very dangerous if you don’t follow the Bicycle Rules of the Road.” “Biking is a great way for people and families to enjoy and explore our great city, and a lot of planning has gone into creating safer routes for riders. If folks do their own planning, learning and following the rules and being alert to their surroundings, the fun stays healthy.” said Superintendent Johnson. White and Johnson were joined by representatives from the City of Chicago Bicycling Ambassadors at Eckhart Park, 1330 West Chicago Avenue, where officials spoke about the importance of bicycling safety. Bicycle helmets were donated by Lurie Children’s Hospital and Kohl’s Cares. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
* Head injuries are the most serious type of injury and most common cause of death for bicyclists. Bicycle helmets have been proven to reduce the risk of head and brain injury when a crash occurs by as much as 85 percent.
* In 2013, 743 cyclists were killed nationwide and an estimated 48,000 injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes. The number of cyclists killed is 1 percent higher than the previous year, when 734 people died.
* In 2014, children under 16 accounted for 9 percent of bicyclist fatalities and 20 percent of injuries.
* The majority of fatalities on bicycles occur in urban areas (68 percent) as opposed to rural areas (32 percent). “Learning safe cycling at an early age sets the stage for kids to become responsible road users as adults,” said Charlie Short of the Chicago’s Safe Routes and Bicycling Ambassadors. White reminds Illinoisans that the office issues the Bicycle Rules of the Road to ensure safe bike travel. To obtain a free copy of the Bicycle Rules of the Road, visit any of the Secretary of State’s facilities; or the website at www.cyberdriveillinois.com. “My office is pleased to work with the Chicago Police Department in an effort to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride for everyone on the road. It is important to wear helmets properly, obey traffic signs and signals, and supervise children as they ride bikes.”